Monday, May 17, 2021

Networking Opens Doors to Promotional Opportunities for Writers


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Hire Help If You are Clueless and Without Connections

You can start networking with author friends or start with knowing almost no one. Years ago, I wanted to be a guest on TV shows with my books. I had been a TV host with a puppet show but knew no Christian TV hosts. I hired a publicist with the goal of booking me on TV appearances to create video footage.

One Appearance Leads to More

The PR agent scheduled me for two shows. I made friends with the host of the show in my state of Florida and became a regular guest with any new releases The other show included a producer from South Carolina who invited me to be a guest plus connected me to a producer in Georgia. The host of the show in South Carolina also connected me to a show in another city in the state. I’ve been back on all those stations multiple times, including with my 2021 spring release.

My recent trip for the stations in SC opened new doors. One host plans to connect me to a host in my state, in a different city. One of the other stations had a host who is new to me. She has her own show with the station and invited me on for my next release. I love meeting producers, hosts, and other guests for the show.

Opening Book Related Opportunities

I want to find prayer leaders interested in reaching children and families for an upcoming book. At the Atlanta station, I connected to a guest who directs the Atlanta National Day of Prayer. When the book releases, we plan to discuss ways to incorporate family and children’s activities into future programs. She’s also willing to endorse the prayer book and enlarge my network of prayer leaders.

Another couple I met has an amazing marriage ministry. I have books for families, and we plan to see how we can help one another. 

I love networking among friends where we help one another. I tend to stay at homes of friends as I travel or meet up for a meal. The first meal stop was with a podcast host who booked me as a guest for this month. At another meal I shared connections for my friends to get on shows and connect with producers.

Stay Connected with Editors

Make sure you let your editor or the publisher’s PR department know about your marketing efforts. They share links and news to followers and post on social media. Publicists and editors support my marketing efforts. My current publisher chose my book as a giveaway for a fundraiser campaign to help feed moms around the world. TV hosts shared that opportunity too! Other PR representatives put money into hiring publicists or creating bookmarks and ads for me. 

Be Generous to Keep Connections Healthy

One coaching client who’s already a marketing expert wanted to know how to become a publicist, too. I suggested she ride along on my recent TV book tour and meet producers and hosts plus see the sets. Patricia Durgin met me the night before the first show and accompanied me for the three shows. The producers were very open and told her to pitch as soon as she had clients ready. In person connections are much stronger than cold calls. She took lots of notes. At a breakfast with some friends, they let her know they’d be clients. Our friendship has spanned many years and she’s helped me during that time. Continuing to grow relationships is also very important in keeping a network healthy.

Patricia said, “Christian writers, speakers, and those who serve them typically work alone. Networking allows us to be connected to others throughout the year, not just during the conference season. I’ve been blessed with many friends like Karen, who go out of their way to share their time, skills, and knowledge with others. I’ve built my business on the generosity principle. This trip is a great example of this principle in action.”

Cooperative Marketing Networks

Partnering with other authors, especially within your genre enlarges your network and promotional opportunities also. You can cross-promote, share connections and marketing opportunities. I’m in a blog group with other children’s authors since some of my books are for children and they review my books in the blog, we share one another’s posts, and share a great wealth of information about the industry. This works best if each member has a following. Follow one another and notice what gains attention.

We never know what will happen when we smile and meet someone. Even an Uber driver who took me to several stops became a fan, bought copies of my books, and spread the news about me. He’s a big reader.

Networking Tips

These are just a few of many networking results. My best tips are:
  • Pray for more connections.
  • Be open and consider every person you meet a potential person in your network.
  • Listen to what the person does and ask about their interests.
  • When there seems to be a connection, share your thoughts and start a conversation.
  • Respond to questions, especially from less experienced writers. They appreciate your help too and it’s a way to network it forward.
We are all on God’s team trying to change hearts. Networking lets us combine our efforts.

TWEETABLE

Karen Whiting (WWW.KARENWHITING.COM) is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, certified writing and marketing coach, and award-winning author of twenty-seven books for women, children, and families. Her newest book, The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table reflects her passion for bread and growing up helping at her grandparent’s restaurant. Check out her newest book Growing a Mother’s Heart: Devotions of Faith, Hope, and Love from Mothers Past, Present, and Future. It's full of heartwarming and teary eyed stories of moms.

Karen has a heart to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. She has written more than eight hundred articles for more than sixty publications and loves to let creativity splash over the pages of what she writes. She writes for Crosswalk. Connect with Karen on Twitter @KarenHWhiting Pinterest KarenWhiting FB KarenHWhiting

2 comments:

  1. Wow Karen, those are fantastic examples, thank you.
    And I love your conclusion that we are helping each other on the same team for God. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your enthusiasm and encouragement. Thank you Karen. :-)

    ReplyDelete